Wow. It’s been awhile since I posted. My absence has not been intentional, per se. The end of summer got busy with gardening, trying to stay cool, and school prep. We got an early jump on school, and that has been the majority of our focus the last couple of weeks. But, we are now back into the swing of things, and hopefully I’ll be able to block in some time to post more regularly. I’ve been “experimenting” and learning new things that I am excited to share with you. But for now….
This last week, we have been surrounded by fires. We have at least one major fire burning on each side of us, except to the east. Because of weather inversions, the smoke has been horrific. Here is what our valley looked like, as of this past Friday:
That’s not smog/fog – that, my friends, is smoke. Rather creepy. And if you are a person with lung/breathing problems, it’s not a fun place to be. Because of bouts with pneumonia/bronchitis, I’m told I have bronchial-induced asthma. Hence, when my lungs/bronchial tubes get irritated, I sound like Phyllis Diller on a bad day. 😉 But I hate using an inhaler. Hate. It. And, since I’m insanely stubborn, I won’t do it. I do, however, enjoy breathing, so I have to come up with an alternative. So here it is…essential oils to the rescue!
*In a small container (I use a recycled yogurt cup), combine:
10-15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
10-15 drops tea tree oil (I use a lavender/tea tree blend)
Mix well with 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil.
Now, you may think I’m crazy, but here’s the deal – rub this on the soles of your feet. Yes, I know the problem is in the lungs, but trust me. I am speaking from firsthand experience, and I promise, it works. Rub it in really well, and cover with a pair of socks. (I also rub a little on my chest and throat, for good measure) Repeat this every 2-3hrs. When I got up this morning, my chest was heavy, throat scratchy, eyes watering, nose running. Now, I am feeling markedly more clear, and will be re-applying throughout the day. Huge difference. And all natural. Much better than inhaler nastiness.
Now, on to better things…yesterday, some dear family friends of ours (thank you Deb!) blessed us with some delicious, organic pluots. Lots of them. After spending over an hour prepping a bunch to dry, I wanted to come up with a different way to use them. Since I have already canned my fair share of berry jams, and we don’t really use much jam, anyway, that idea was out of the question. So I came up with this…
You’ll have to forgive me for having it half-consumed before taking a picture. And I know it looks really dry, but I promise, it’s quite delicious. My son (who doesn’t like baked desserts) declared it one of the best desserts I’ve made. Thanks, buddy. 😉 Here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think…
2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C almond paste* (I use homemade; recipe follows)
1/2 C butter, cut into small chunks
2 T coconut oil
1 t salt
4-6 small pluots
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T cinnamon
~Combine first six ingredients, incorporating butter and almond paste until mixture resembles coarse meal. (If you’d like it a little less dry, increase butter to 1 C.) Spray/butter a 9-in pie pan, and pat in mixture, reserving 3/4 C. Slice pluots and layer over the top, drizzle with vanilla extract. Add cinnamon (use more or less, according to taste. We like cinnamon. :)) to reserved flour mixture; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350, 40-45 min. Eat as is, or top with whipped cream. Yum.
P.S. If you don’t like/have the almond paste, just substitute with butter or coconut oil. I just liked the almond with the pluots.
*Homemade Almond Paste
1 1/2 C almonds
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 1/2 t almond extract
1/4 t salt
~ Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, egg white, extract and salt; cover and process until smooth. Divide into 1/2c portions, cover and store. Will keep up to 1 month in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer. It freezes really well!
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